Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 12/28/11

R.A. Dickey is aware of the risks involved if he climbs Mount Kilimanjaro, but he plans on doing it anyway.  The 37-year-old Mets pitcher has been planning to make the trek for months, joined by former Twins teammate Kevin Slowey.  Earlier this week, the Mets sent Dickey a letter urging him to not go through with the climb and reminding him that his $4.5 million salary for 2012 would be void if he suffered an injury.  Despite the warning, sources told the NY Daily News he’s proceeding as planned anyway.

“If we thought it was a good idea, we wouldn’t have sent the letter,” Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. “Beyond that, have we tried to dissuade him from going? It seems to me that the letter is enough of an effort to dissuade him, and he intends to go on nonetheless.”

Dickey, Slowey, and Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello plan to climb Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness for the Bombay Teen Challenge, a charity that supports victims of sex trafficking in India.

“I’m really excited about the trip,” Dickey said. “Whether it’s negative or positive publicity, it does shine a light on a cause I believe in. I don’t think there’s really any lethal risk to doing it. It’s not like it’s Everest.”

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain on earth at more than 19,000 feet tall, so there is obviously some risk involved with tackling it.  That being said, as long as Dickey knows the risks he’s taking with regard to his Mets contract I see no issue with it.  He’s committed to raising awareness for a cause.  There are a lot worse things baseball players could be doing with their free time.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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